Biotechnology

CENTOGENE and Lifera to form a Saudi Arabia Joint Venture

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Centogene NV and Lifera have announced a strategic collaboration with the establishment of a joint venture (JV) to improve local and regional access and rapid delivery of multimic testing to patients in Saudi Arabia and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Under the terms of the partnership, Centogene will receive a $30 million mandatory convertible loan from Lifera.

Centogene, a provider of outsourced genetic testing for patients in Saudi Arabia, will provide its diagnostic and multiomics know-how to JV, which together with Lifera’s local presence and resources, will establish access to local genetic sequencing tailored to regional needs.

The JV will build laboratory and bioinformatics infrastructure – leveraging the Centogene Biodatabank, which has more than 70 million and more than 35,000 data sets of Saudi Arabian patients.

The JV will develop capabilities for genetic testing and interpretation working collaboratively with Centogene globally – serving as a vehicle for large national genomics and screening programmes.

“This strategic collaboration is a reflection of Lifera’s mission to develop the Saudi Arabian biopharmaceutical sector. With Centogene’s expertise in rare, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, we see tremendous potential value for JV in providing more timely and accurate diagnoses that are so important to patients and their families, driven by a comprehensive diagnostic portfolio that goes beyond standard laboratory testing. and medical interpretation. This collaboration will also enable biopharma research in rare diseases and provide resources to foster collaborative research across Saudi Arabia and with global partners,” said Ibrahim Aljufalli, chairman of the Lifera board.

‘strategic partner’

“Working with Lifera marks a significant step forward in our mission to provide life-changing, data-driven answers to patients around the world and establishes a path to achieve sustainable growth and profitability for Centogene,” said Kim Stratton, chief executive officer at Centogene.

“As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has designed an impressive program to improve health outcomes across the region. This JV will now build on Centogene’s extensive knowledge and current leading position in the Saudi market, as well as Lifera’s deep understanding of the local healthcare landscape to actively contribute to these healthcare initiatives. This, together with Lifera’s investment, makes Centogene a committed strategic partner for the future.”

Terms of agreement between Lifera and Centogene

Under the terms of the agreement, Lifera and Centogene will invest in the JV. Centogene will also be eligible for JV performance-related achievement payments and revenue-based royalties through 2033. Both parties will be represented on the JV’s board of directors.

Lifera will invest in Centogene in the form of a $30 million mandatory convertible loan, which will be converted before 2024 into Centogene common stock at a convertible price of $2.20. The loan is expected to be entered into, closed and funded within 90 days from the announcement date subject to final negotiation and settlement of the transaction and signing of a definitive agreement.

When asked about human rights in Saudi Arabia, a statement to Labiotech said Centogene is focused on “providing access to the highest attainable standard of health, one of the fundamental rights of every human being, according to WHO, wherever they live. Saudi Arabia’s efforts in their health reform program and Vision 2030 are significant steps towards addressing the health challenges for the Saudi population. The JV with Lifera is directly supporting this by providing more localized access to multimic testing and further improving patient care.”

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